Born as princess of Cooch Behar, she always insisted she was ordinary. Yet, she was one of India’s most stylish, most independent and most modern of Maharanis. The Vogue had once listed her among the 10 most beautiful women in the world.
An avid equestrienne, an excellent marksman, a tennis player and a keen rider, an advocate of girl’s education, a successful politician, a promoter of blue pottery in Rajasthan, a social activist were few of her keen interests.
It was the July of 2007, I was shopping (as usual) with my sisters and mom at Cottons, located at Civil Lines in Jaipur. I was oblivious to the quiet hustle and bustle behind me. And then somebody nudged me, I looked up and saw the Rajmata standing elegantly tall, next to me, glancing at some clothes. I must have surely gaped at her with a shocked expression, coz the next moment, I saw her smiling amicably!
That smile is still etched in my mind.
Wearing a very simple blue chiffon saree, she looked extremely beautiful and elegant then.
And today, when the early morning newspaper gave the news of her sad demise, it shocked me and bought back the memory of a chance meeting with the grand queen mother, Rajmata Gayatri Devi.
May she rest in peace!